Virgin Atlantic moving back towards profit

VIRGIN Atlantic has flagged an “improving result” from its Little Red domestic service as the airline cruises back towards profitability.

Sir Richard Branson disembarks from the inaugural Virgin Atlantic Little Red flight from London Heathrow to Edinburgh Airport. Picture: TSPL

Figures released yesterday showed that the privately-owned group made a pre-tax loss of £51 million in 2013 compared with a shortfall of £102m the year before.

Virgin, in which American carrier Delta took a 49 per cent stake last year, had a group turnover 4.9 per cent higher last year than in 2012, while airline revenue rose 3.6 per cent.

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Chief executive Craig Kreeger said: “The group has made good progress in 2013 towards our target of a return to profitability by the end of this year.”

He said the short-haul Little Red operation, which connects Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester with London Heathrow, was seeing an improvement in passenger numbers.

The service was launched by Virgin Atlantic to “reinstate competition” on the routes and “give renewed choice for connections to the long-haul network”.